Thursday, January 27, 2011


Fake medical certificates delay timely justice

As a media house, we have always been extremely critical about the manner in which our judicial systems function – as we strongly feel that it is just on account of our judicial system that our democracy stands dysfunctional in more than one way! It is in our country that an average case takes 20 years to get concluded. It is in our country that lack of justice has bred criminalisation in society and politics and almost all spheres of life. It is in our country that justice eludes the poor and underprivileged and it is the affluent who exploit the judicial system to their advantage. All this is known. Along with all this, what is also known is the fact that the delay in justice delivery is also on account of lack of judges, inadequate administrative framework and myriad inefficiencies that corrode the system.

It is oft repeated that police and advocates are also equally responsible for making the system slow because a slow system is beneficial to them. Amongst all this, one key element, who is also equally responsible for delaying the process, is the doctor – who, in his own way, tries to shield the rich and mighty from appearing in the court, in the form of medical certificates! And in most cases, fake certificates, which not only slow down trials but also eliminate a chance of fair justice – giving more time to criminals to tweak evidences.

I do not remember of a single case wherein the rich and mighty have not fallen ill, once put to trial! So whether it is a high profile businessman or an equally highly profiled bureaucrat, not to forget politicians who are always high profiled, they all manage to systematically elude the trial by producing some form of medical certificate or the other. The irony is that a cold-blooded murderer eludes arrest by managing a certificate of being a patient of hypertension. A systematic conspirator, who shamelessly siphons off crores of cash, manages a certificate of mental instability! What more, a rapist declares himself to be impotent! Not to forget cardiac disorder, a disease which has been most blatantly and rampantly abused by all and sundry to escape trials. And the worst part is that doctors who are otherwise supposed to save lives, on the contrary shamelessly shield criminals. As a result, criminals who are supposed to be rotting in jails enjoy the five star luxury of a five star hospital. And if declared mentally unfit, then it is even better as then the criminal gets away from the clutches of justice even for a longer duration. And the icing on the cake is, in most of the cases, such fake certificates don’t even get traced or identified. The entire system is so corroded that everyone has modified it towards their own convenience. So while the rich and mighty make their way through the judicial system by manipulating it, it is the poor and underprivileged that suffer as neither can they engage advocates nor can they engage medical practitioners. And that’s why those are the poor who rot in our jails for years as under-trials even without being convicted.

It goes without saying that it has become an imperative now to check such a rampant practice, which on the one hand delays the judicial procedure and on the other threatens the just. In all such cases where doctors issue fake certificates, they should be prosecuted first with heavy fines and ('and', not 'or') rigorous imprisonment along with cancellation of their medical licenses. I know I am demanding too much, but then there is no other way out!



  1. A doctor's certificate has very little, if any, impact on the judicial proceedings. if malingering is suspected in a case, the government setup puts in, tight security measures, only if it feels like. I have been attending court for 30 years and i strongly feel, that a doctor's opinion is taken as a formality which is moulded by the judiciary whichever way they want. despite whatever the statement be.